Vermont-National Education Association (Vermont-NEA)
The Vermont-National Education Association is the union of Vermont educators,12,000 professionals who teach the state's children every day.
As the state's largest union, Vermont-NEA is proud to represent the men and women who make a difference in the lives of students in classrooms across Vermont. Join us as we work to keep the best and brightest in our classrooms and help make Vermont a great place to live and work.
We are proud to be a part of your local public schools, Vermont's most important resource.
New Campaign Campaigns
Save Windsor Northwest School Staff JobsThe Bethel, Stockbridge and Rochester School Boards collected bids earlier this school year to hire private companies to run the food service programs and buses next year. In part citing state law (Act 153) and a need to cut costs, the school boards appear they may follow through and hire private companies next year instead of keeping the jobs employed by the school. Eliminating school-run programs to save a few dollars and in the process cutting the jobs of loyal food service and transportation employees is not fair. Act 153 does require individual school districts to move all transportation decisions for students from the districts to the Supervisory Union, but it does not require the hiring of a private company. Act 153 encourages Supervisory Unions to find ways to be as cost effective and efficient as possible with transportation expenses. Private companies cannot guarantee to offer to do the work for less than what the Supervisory Union pays as a direct employer without cutting corners, wages and benefits. Most of our school food service and transportation employees are long-term, loyal and committed employees. These staff members have played by the rules and worked hard for the districts. These employees often go above and beyond what they’re expected to do, especially for students in need. As members of the East Branch Education Association and Upper Valley Education Association, they’ve negotiated fairly with the school boards since a union formed over 15 years ago (Stockbridge 8 years ago). These employees are hourly workers. No one in these positions gets paid days they do not work during school year or receives unemployment over the summer. These people are our hard working neighbors with many not even making a livable wage. Farming out the work to a private company removes local control and authority over the hiring/supervision of employees who will be in our schools and driving our buses. Plus, using private companies to do the work currently done by the school districts does not guarantee that the work will be cheaper for the Supervisory Union. In fact, companies such as Butler Transportation, are in business to make money/profit. While a bid may come in lower to do the work, it usually means a cut in services or benefits/wages to the workers or both. Any short-term “deal” made with Butler or another company to hire current school-employed bus drivers (or food service workers) does not bind that employer long-term to keep the same wages/benefits for that individual. Again, these are businesses looking to make a profit, unlike our schools. If companies cut services or reduce the quality of school food program or transportation services, our students feel the impact. Private companies running food or transportation services in Vermont often offer no paid sick days or offer health insurance, making the jobs even less livable for working people, causing turn over in staff. High turnover in our kitchens and with our bus drivers hurts the relationships staff have with students. Ask the employees and/or parents of students in communities who use private companies like the Abbey Group or Butler Transportation. Low standards for the food program and transportation department and its employees are not consistent with our community’s values.178 of 200 SignaturesCreated by Vermont NEA
Chittenden County Bus Drivers Have Our SupportMany young Vermonters depend on our hard-working, experienced CCTA bus drivers to get to school every day. These bus drivers fight dangerous weather conditions and aggressive drivers to ensure that our students arrive to school safely. On March 12th, CCTA bus drivers voted to strike after months of being pressured by the transit authority to accept serious (and sometimes dangerous) changes to their contract. The bus drivers already work 12.5-hour shifts, but CCTA wanted its drivers to agree to 13.5-hour shifts. CCTA wanted to transition to more part-time positions, leaving more Vermont families without dependable, full-time employment. CCTA has increased surveillance of drivers for disciplinary purposes by reviewing video footage when anonymous complaints are filed. CCTA also continues to make unilateral changes to working conditions, such as regular access to bathroom breaks while drivers are on their shift. As of March 17th, CCTA drivers are on strike. The strike interrupts bus service for thousands of Vermonters, including many of our students. In Burlington, local school children rely on the public buses to get to school, and the vast majority of students who will struggle to find alternative transportation to school during a strike are students who come from lower socio-economic families. We're calling on CCTA to settle a fair contract for its bus drivers and get the buses back on the road. Our students' public bus drivers deserve safe working conditions and fair treatment. We're speaking up for them, and we hope you'll join us by adding your name.148 of 200 SignaturesCreated by Vermont NEA
Protect MVU JobsLast fall, rumors of privatizing (also called sub-contracting) the MVU cafeteria to The Abbey Group circulated. The MVU cafeteria staff and many other staff are concerned that the school-run program may simply be “eliminated” to save a few dollars. This is not fair. The food service employees are long-term, loyal and committed employees. They have a collective 66 years of service to the school, performed high quality work, and often go above and beyond what they are expected to do, especially for students. All the staff at MVU bring the same level of commitment to the school and the students. The MVU cafeteria workers are being proactive and are asking the MVU Board for something very simple – to adopt a policy that it will not privatize the food service jobs at MVU or any of the work currently being performed by its staff. This is perfectly legal. It doesn’t violate the existing union contract. It doesn’t violate the Municipal Employees Labor Relations Act. It is well within the rights of the Board to pass such a policy. The policy wording we propose would be as follows: “It will be the policy of the Missisquoi Valley Union School Board of Directors to not sub-contract any work currently being performed by employees of the Board.” Contractors, like the Abbey Group, are in business to make money/profit. If they’re going to make money from the school, they will have to cut corners somewhere. Either they will cut services, or the wages they pay to workers, or both. If they cut services, the quality of school food program, in this case, goes down. And if they cut wages, they will get people in to work who are not very qualified, or who will leave as soon as they get a better job. Contractors like Abbey Group often offer no paid sick days or benefits, making the jobs even less livable for working people, causing more turn over in staff. High turnover hurts quality of the food program and it hurts the relationships staff have with the students. Low standards for the food program and its employees are not consistent with the MVU’s values. We encourage you to add your name to encourage the board to adopt this policy. Thank you.434 of 500 SignaturesCreated by Vermont NEA